First, Meghan Markle isn’t pregnant (at least there have been no reported sightings of a royal baby bump). But there has been some interesting chatter revealing just how bizarre royal tradition can be when it comes to royal offspring.
One royal expert revealed that when Markle and Prince Harry do decide to have a family, their children won’t technical be in their custody. This strange tidbit harkens back 300 years, when a law was put into place giving the heads of the monarchy custody of lesser royals.
How messed up is that?
“The sovereign has legal custody of the minor grandchildren,” royal expert Marlene Koenig told news.com.au.
According to her, Queen Elizabeth has full legal custody over Markle and Harry’s kids, as well as Kate and Prince William’s. If you’re keeping score at home, it also means that both Harry and Will were never actually in the sole custody of their parents, Princess Diana and Prince Charles; it’s a fact referenced in the couple’s split.
“Custody is not included [in those divorce documents] because they did not legally have custody of their children to begin with,” Koenig said, who adds:
This goes back to King George I [who ruled in the early 1700s], and the law’s never been changed. He did it because he had a very poor relationship with his son, the future King George II, so they had this law passed that meant the King was the guardian of his grandchildren.
This law was passed by a majority of judges back in 1717, who decided the monarch’s “right of supervision extended to his grandchildren and this right of right belongs to His Majesty, King of the Realm, even during their father’s lifetime”.
Koenig says the archaic law still stands today, and has even affected the way the royals parent their children.
“When [Princes Harry and William] were little, Prince Charles asked the Queen if both children could fly on a plane together to Scotland, to which the Queen said yes,” she said.
“Technically, they needed permission for travel. The Queen has the last word on parenting decisions like that.”